Snow hits the mobile industry

Snow hits the mobile industry

Christmas handset deliveries are delayed, masts frozen and staff unable to make it to work as snow continues to blanket Britain.

O2 had to offer a reduced customer service team over the last few days after staff from its UK based call centres in Leeds, Glasgow, and Bury were unable to make into work.

O2 internal customer service was closed and staff were reassigned to work on external customer service.

Mobile retail stores in Kent, which was worst hit by the bad weather, reported severe disruption to opening times. It is believed several retail stores are closed, including a Three store in Bluewater.

Meanwhile, handset deliveries are subject to delays with vans unable to make it onto the icy roads.

Although only a small number of masts are affected, it is thought that things could get worse as the snow freezes.

An operator source said: ‘If you get some frozen snow on there [the masts] it could cause all kinds problems. I don’t know how people are going to get engineers out.’

All operators reported a surge of traffic on the network over the past two days.

Three said it saw a spike in mobile internet use as customers uploaded snow photos onto social networks such as Facebook.

Vodafone reported that over three quarters of a million photos were taken yesterday (1 December).

Between 6am and noon, the volume of picture messages surged 155% on the previous week with overall MMS traffic up 63%, Vodafone said.

Calls were up more than 17%, while people sent 15% more texts than in the previous week as workers contacted their offices and worked from home, the operator added.

Usage of Vodafone’s Sure Signal, which plugs into a home broadband line, was up more than a quarter yesterday.

Meanwhile, an Orange spokeswoman said: ‘The earliest snow in many years gripping the UK has seen a huge uplift across the entire mobile network with people wanting to keep friends, colleagues and loved ones updated. A 13% increase in calls was seen on Tuesday alone when the worst of the weather struck with areas of West and South Yorkshire Derbyshire and Lincolnshire seeing the biggest call volumes.

‘Text messaging levels have also increased with peaks seen at around 4pm daily when many are considering their journey home from work. It's also clear that mobiles have become indispensable for those wanting the latest information on the move, with a fourfold increase in weather and travel related searches seen in the last week on Orange World. It's also clear that the snow is being enjoyed by many across the country with people using their phones to upload photos of them messing around in the snow to social networking sites such as Facebook.’


Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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